Pakistan Army Offensive Kills 25 More Militants

Sajjad Hussain, Islamabad
Pakistan Army Offensive Kills 25 More Militants

At least 25 militants were killed today in targeted airstrikes by Pakistan's military in the restive northwest tribal region ahead of a massive ground offensive which has been withheld to allow the civilians to move out.

Operation Zarb-e-Azb was launched last Sunday to purge the area of local and foreign militants.

Military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said that jet fighters targeted eight hideouts of militants around Mirali this morning.

"15 terrorists were killed in the strikes. Tunnels were spotted in the targeted areas," he said.

Another 10 militants were killed while fleeing from the cordoned off area in Spinwam and Mirali. Two soldiers were also killed in exchange of fire, Bajwa said.

Meanwhile, aerial surveillance, vigorous patrolling and cordon around the area housing terrorists continued. Nearly 280 militants, including foreign fighters, have been killed since June 15.

The operation was launched following a deadly attack on Karachi international airport which killed 37 people, including the 10 attackers. The curfew was relaxed from 6 AM to 4 PM in the district to facilitate evacuation of remaining people.

It is believed that remaining people will leave the area today, ahead of massive ground offensive.

The army set up four relief goods delivery points in Bannu, where food items, medical care and cash amount as announced by the government will be distributed by the concerned civil agency among the affected people.

A field medical hospital by army medical corps is being established at Bannu to provide medical relief. North Waziristan is considered as the last bastion of militants who have killed over 50,000 people in more than a decade of fighting in Pakistan.

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